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  • Writer's pictureAndrea O Smith

Shifting Sands

The waves came hard and fast. While only knee deep for me, those caps easily knocked my smallest children into the sandy banks. "1...2...3...JUMP!" we shouted, timing our victory over the cold Lake Michigan waves. The water had been warm just the day before, but as the Great Lakes do, the temperature drastically changed following the direction of the wind.

After a few attempts at tackling the challenge autonomously, the children decided they would succeed more assuredly with my helping hands. They held on tight as wave after wave washed our way. They squealed with delight knowing that they were safe as long as they were holding on tightly to what they thought was a solid foundation. Little did they know that I was struggling to hold steady as each of them jumped at different times...despite the countdown. Not only that, but the waves were pushing us back to shore and also down the shoreline as well. The real sneaky battle was with the shifting sand under foot. The water washed in and the sand would cover my feet, but in varying depths given that my weight was shifting. I had to keep readjusting to stay steady. It reminded me of the parable Jesus told in Luke 6 about two homes. One was built after a deep hole was dug and a solid foundation was acquired and the other was hastily assembled on topsoil.

Jesus was explaining how those who heard His words and did not act on His teachings were foolish. Luke 6:46-49 says, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.” There I was, at the shores of Lake Michigan...sinking. Not only was I sinking, but there were people putting their faith in me that I would be their savior should the waves over take them.

Who have we been anchoring ourselves to that isn't a firm foundation? Is it your spouse? Is it your Pastor? Do you have a friend that you look to for spiritual guidance? We should, absolutely be getting support and advice from our trusted friends, but they are human. They are sinking sand. WE are sinking sand. If we do not hold fast to God as our permanent buoy, disaster lies ahead. We may appear to be safe for a time, but if we put our faith in people, we will inevitably find ourselves in waves of hurt and sorrow.

Thankfully, my kids enjoyed their evening without incident. We experienced the breathtaking views of the sun being swallowed by the Great Lake. Subsequently, the colors that painted the sky were awe inspiring. I was thankful to God for allowing me to be a short-term anchor for my children and to help them build a firm foundation for their lives in Christ. I am not their foundation. Their father is not their foundation. Their Creator will always be the only unwavering, steadfast bedrock!

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